It also discusses the procedures used in the examination of firearms evidence.
Footwear is an example of primary evidence. It is very important because on its own, it is potentially conclusive without other strong evidence. There are at least three forms of footwear evidence including footwear insole impressions, footwear trace evidence and footwear outsole impressions. Whenever something comes into physical contact with another, it either leaves a portion of itself or takes a portion of the other. This is a theory that Edmond Locard developed and that crime scene investigators and physical evidence analysts use. They hold the assumption that since criminals must enter and exit the scene of crime, there may be traces of their footwear.
To avoid eyewitness identification and leaving fingerprints, criminals frequently wear masks over their faces and gloves over their hands respectively. However, they make little effort to cover up footwear. Footwear evidence therefore, when the investigator of a crime scene properly collects and preserves it and a footwear expert examines it in detail, becomes an important source of evidence during criminal investigation that proves or disproves an individual’s presence at the scene of crime. Unfortunately, disorganization or failure to secure the scene of a crime properly may result in the destruction or overlooking of this form of impression evidence. Investigators use footwear evidence to obtain valuable information that can enable them to locate a suspect. For example, it can lead to positive recognition of the particular known shoe that made the print (Hilderbrand, 2009).
Footwear evidence is very useful in cases where proof of the presence of an individual is incriminating such as rapes, robberies, homicides, burglaries, assaults among others. Footwear evidence is of great value as it